Rayner to strengthen workers’ rights ‘within Labour’s first 100 days in office’
Labour will implement its plans to bolster workers’ rights within 100 days of taking office, Angela Rayner has said.
The deputy party leader told Labour’s conference in Liverpool that plans to boost protections for gig workers and enshrine basic employment rights from the first day of starting a job had not been watered down.
Media reports following Labour’s national policy forum this year had suggested the plans had been weakened.
But as Ms Rayner took to the conference stage fresh from Labour’s victory in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, she said: “Conference, I’ve heard some rumours that we’ll be watering down our New Deal For Working People.
“Be in no doubt – not with Keir and I at the helm.
“We’ll ban zero-hour contracts, and fire-and-rehire, and give workers basic rights from day one.
“We’ll go further and faster in closing the gender pay gap, make work more family-friendly, and tackle sexual harassment.
“And we won’t stop there. We’ll ensure that unions can stand up for their members. We will boost collective bargaining, to improve workers’ pay, terms and conditions.”
She later added: “But it can only be completed with Labour in power – and as deputy prime minister, I will personally table the legislation implementing our New Deal, within 100 days of taking office.”
As Ms Rayner continued her speech, she pledged that a Labour government would “deliver the biggest boost in affordable and social housing for a generation”, including new council housing.
The senior Labour figure added her party would reform the planning system to speed up building new social and affordable homes, as well as seeking to strengthen renters’ rights, and abolishing leasehold land tenure.
Ms Rayner claimed the Conservatives “look down on people living in social housing”, adding: “Well, I say: Let’s stare right back, and never be ashamed.”
She spoke about how council housing had changed her own life, telling conference: “The Labour Government took me from a council estate to the parliamentary estate.
“Labour will achieve rental reform where the Tories have failed for four and a half years, finishing the job by banning ‘no fault’ evictions,” she said.
“We’ll give first-time buyers ‘first dibs’ on new developments in their communities, with a comprehensive mortgage guarantee scheme for those who don’t have access to the bank of mum and dad.
“We’ll end the medieval leasehold system, with root and branch reforms.
“We will deliver planning reform to build the houses the next generation so desperately needs.”
As she began her speech, the Labour deputy leader joked about Conservative ministers’ recent record, telling delegates that the Government had “quite literally” gone off the rails with its plans to scrap HS2.
Referring to Rishi Sunak failing to hand over his WhatsApp messages to the Covid inquiry, she added: “Now we have the Prime Minister refusing to hand over his WhatsApp messages.
“I assume Jacob Rees-Mogg has also refused to hand over his carrier pigeon.”
Ahead of Ms Rayner’s speech, one Labour delegate made his way to the stage to raise concerns over how motions to be considered for debate on the NHS had been split.
He was told to leave the stage and slow handclapped by other delegates as he was led away.
Other delegates later voiced their concerns about various debate topics set to be held on the conference floor after being invited onto the stage.
Trades Union Congress general secretary Paul Nowak said Labour’s New Deal For Working People was the “biggest upgrade in workers’ rights in a generation”.
He added: “We need employment standards fit for the 21st century so that everyone knows they’ll be treated fairly at work with decent pay and conditions.
“Good employers should welcome these plans. The New Deal will help create more productive workplaces and stop rogue bosses from undercutting the best.”
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